Paul Samasumo – Vatican City.
Survivors have the responsibility of healing nation
“Someone once asked me why we keep burdening survivors with the responsibility for our healing. It was a painful question, but I realised the answer was obvious. Survivors are the only ones with something left to give: Their forgiveness,” President Kagame said.
Kagame was speaking to Rwandans and visiting heads of state in Kigali for Kwibuka 25 week. The President was speaking when he inaugurated a week of national mourning in remembrance of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Kagame also thanked Rwandans and friends of Rwanda for their contribution towards the rebuilding of the country.
Sisters became mothers. Strangers became friends
In a speech, obtained by Vatican News, Kagame said, “Today, light radiates from this place. How did it happen? Rwanda became a family, once again. The arms of our people, intertwined, constitute the pillars of our nation. We hold each other up. Our bodies and minds bear amputations and scars, but none of us is alone. Together, we have woven the tattered threads of our unity into a new tapestry. Sisters became mothers. Neighbours became uncles. Strangers became friends. Our culture naturally creates new bonds of solidarity, which both console and renew,” he said.
Rwandan Genocide: A story of profound hope
The President also told his audience that the story of the Genocide is one of profound hope.
“In the end, the only conclusion to draw from Rwanda’s story is profound hope for our world. No community is beyond repair, and the dignity of a people is never fully extinguished. Twenty-five years later, here we are. All of us. Wounded and heartbroken, yes. But unvanquished,” he asserted.
Sixty per cent of Rwandans born after Genocide
The President nevertheless observed that about Sixty per cent of the population comprises young people who know about the Genocide from stories told to them. He urged them to shoulder the responsibility of building a better Rwanda.
President Kagame and the First Lady also lit the flame of remembrance at the Genocide Memorial centre where 250,000 victims of the genocide are buried.
The United Nations (UN) General Assembly has adopted a resolution designating April 7 as the International Day of reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.